Subtraction: The Simple Math of Enlightenment

What is Spiritual Awakening?

I hope that is the question you’re asking. I hope you feel a hunger, a yearning for an answer to a question you carry in the depths of your heart; that you stumbled upon this site looking for that answer – looking for spiritual awakening.  Rumi said:

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

That’s the yearning for spiritual awakening that I’m talking about.

No one can give enlightenment to you. The answer is a revelation – unveiled inside you. Revealed through the process best called a spiritual path.

There is work to be done. Subtraction: The Simple Math of Enlightenment describes that work through sharing a story peculiar to me: of gurus both truth and false, of love, of loss, of determination and seeming failure. A portrait of a spiritual path both personal and common to all in that I found working principles, meta-practices, that you can apply to your path. I offer this book as a light and inspiration – that there is an answer that will settle your longing, and that someone as full of self-doubt and indecision as me could find it.

Praise for the Book:

  • It was the first book I’ve read on spirituality & seeking that I would call a page-turner.
  • Provides invaluable insights into the spiritual path, and I found them more understandable and practicable because they were presented by example rather than abstractly.
  • A book that makes grace seem possible.
  • Inspiring, challenging, and wonderfully told story of spiritual awakening.

Your life is the spiritual path, what you do (action) is what you become,  what you become (as opposed to think) is the answer you seek, and the answer is spiritual awakening.  How? I recommend a subtractive path.  What’s that?  Keep reading.

From the Foreword by Bob Cergol:

A subtractive, deconstructive process is the surest way to spiritual awakeningsuccessful conclusion of a spiritual path. It was the main piece of the shortcut that Richard Rose said existed. But just what in the world does subtraction on a spiritual path really mean? How could it translate into a viable spiritual practice? How does one follow a subtractive path?

That is precisely what this book is about, what it so eloquently reveals, and what it so satisfyingly illustrates, all in a way that frequently reminded me throughout my reading of it, that the author of these pages is also a talented and inspiring poet.

Subtraction means backing away from untruth in all aspects of your life and thought.  I had no idea what that meant when I first heard it, but you begin by developing self-honesty in ordinary life.  It sounds simple, but we are masters of self-deception, especially when our self-image is assailed through fear, embarrassment, guilt, and shame.  The book will save you time and give you ideas for applying this method, and several others, to your search for spiritual awakening.

From fasting to falling in love, teaching kids to 30-day solitary retreats, a Zen master in West Virginia to an Indian guru in Germany, and a dozen other adventures and misadventures, Subtraction presents a wholehearted search for God, the real self, our true nature, spiritual awakening, or whatever you want to call that splinter in your mind which won’t let you rest until you find the answer.

As a reward for your diligent reading of this post, I’ll send you a signed copy of my book for only $13.95.  This special price is only available for orders shipped within the United States. Or pick it up on Amazon wherever you happen to be in the world.

11 thoughts on “Subtraction: The Simple Math of Enlightenment”

      1. Not to burst your bubble here but possibly you’ve heard that Morgan is now being called on the carpet in connection with alleged incidents of sexual harassment and even intimidation of women he worked with. That might then influence your consideration of having him read or maybe not?

  1. I am heartbroken with a breakup, bored with life, and have social anxiety. That’s why the world cannot give me joy anymore and it made me seek within. Will this book help me of this misery?
    Should I read letting go by David R. Hawkins or this one?
    Thank you.

    1. I am not familiar with Letting Go by Hawkins. I can attest that I was both heartbroken and had social anxiety when I started the spiritual path. You might find Subtraction of help, as cover some of those difficulties in the book.

  2. Hi Shawn,
    What is the best way to achieve kundalini awakening? I have been searching and searching. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Alina,
      I don’t know. My first thought is that rather than search and search for the “best way,” just begin practice. You’ll find that as you practice, you’ll gravitate towards ways that are better suited to you. The practice improves the ability of the practicer to find better methods of practice.

  3. Greetings Shawn,

    Will this book help me see that all I am experiencing is an illusion and that there is no observer and no experiencer but just experience?

    1. Hi Frank,

      The book will certainly be of help to someone seeking the truth, but one of its primary tenets is that the way to the truth is not by postulating the answer, but is through turning away from what is less true (i.e. it is a subtractive path).

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